The collapse of the conservative forces in Australian politics during World War II sparked a crisis in Australian liberalism. The extensive use of wartime regulation to control the economy plus the development of far-reaching plans for post-war reconstruction was the driving force behind the creation of the modern Liberal Party in 1944–45. But the architects of this liberal revival recognised that they needed more than just a party structure; they needed a new type of leader. It was left to two knockabout leaders with more than a touch of the Australian larrikin, Henry Bolte in Victoria and Bob Askin in New South Wales, to revive the liberal fortunes in the two largest states.
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